By Evgeniya Sokolova
CCC Journalism Program
There are no strict guidelines as to what punishment should follow a case of plagiarism or cheating at Camden County College.
Professors are allowed to deal with academic dishonesty at their own discretion or contact the dean of students if they wish to, college officials said.
“It has been my observation,” said Jesse Orlando, director of ESL/international students office and a professor at CCC, “that when that (cheating) happens, professors would give a student an F.”
James N. Canonica, the dean of students, said there are no more than five or six cases per year that reach his office.
“If the instructor gets in touch with us, we would speak to the student”, – Canonica said.
The student also will have to read the student handbook, which states that cheating and plagiarism are prohibited.
The punishment will be more severe if a student is reported again, but Canonica said no student had ever been reported twice.
Yamileth Ildefonso, a Spanish professor, is convinced that cheating should not be tolerated. “Cheating does not happen a lot in my class, but when it does, the student caught cheating gets a zero for the test”, Ildefonso said.
According to Theodore Barthold, a history professor, students struggling with a subject, are tempted to cheat.
“It is my responsibility to see that that does not happen,” Barthold said. He thinks it is important that students really learn in his class, because, in many cases, it is their “last chance to understand why the world is the way it is.”
While the college staff is absolutely against any forms of academic dishonesty, some students appear to be more tolerant to it.
Anna Marie Arnat, a second-year student, admits she might copy a friend’s homework, but would never cheat on a test. While she thinks that minor cheating is okay, however, she agrees that plagiarism should be punished.
Sarah Detrick, a first-year student, has a different attitude.
“If you are researching for an essay, you might plagiarize by accident,” Detrick said. As far as cheating in class is concerned, Detrick thinks that the measures professors take are “harsh, but fair.”
“Those who cheat at school cheat themselves in the end,” Detrick said. “All students are expected to do their own work,” Canonica said. Professors seem eager to see to that and most students are ready to work hard.